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During the 1990s, the Miami Folk Arts Society and American Records brought out a sizable series -- at least 17 volumes -- of previously unreleased recordings made by George Louis Francis Zeno, better known as New Orleans clarinetist George Lewis, on tour with his jazz band during the years 1952-1955. Volume five in the series documents half of a concert that took place on March 20, 1953 at Miami University in Oxford, OH. On that occasion the group was billed as George Lewis & His Ragtime Jazz Band. Avery Kid Howard was the trumpeter, Jim Robinson blew the trombone, Alton Purnell was at the piano, ex-prize fighter Laurence Marrero strummed the banjo, Alcide "Slow Drag" Pavageau plucked his string bass, and Joe Watkins rode the drums. The band sounds happy to be entertaining a responsive and appreciative audience. Lewis, who openly stated during an Ohio State radio interview that he preferred his band have a "an unrehearsed, ragged and rough sound," also spoke candidly in a different interview, regarding his own controversial handling of the clarinet: "It's true I might overpower the horn sometime, when I feel good." Feeling good seems to have been the main order of business on March 23, 1950. With the exception of Lewis' signature "Burgundy Street Blues" each of the old-time melodies is driven under a full head of steam in order to please the audience. Bandmembers laugh, talk, and sing with gusto. The eight-minute version of Sam Theard's "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You" is a particularly convincing example of seven men having fun in front of a delighted public.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/25/1999
Label: Ghb Jazz Foundation
UPC: 0762247102526
catalogNumber: 25
Rank: 172027


  1. Yearning
  2. Indian Love Call
  3. A Shanty in Old Shanty Town
  4. Summertime
  5. Ballin the Jack #1
  6. Ballin the Jack #2
  7. West Indies Blues (V. Sayles)
  8. Bye Bye Blackbird
  9. Dippermouth Blues
  10. When Your Hair Has Turned to Silver
  11. My Josephine
  12. You Broke Your Promise

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Louis Nelson   Primary Artist,Trombone
George Lewis   Clarinet
Alton Purnell   Piano
Jim Robinson   Trombone
Laurence Marrero   Banjo
Alcide Pavageau   Baritone Saxophone,Bass Saxophone
Joe Robichaux   Piano
Emanuel Sayles   Banjo
Joe Watkins   Drums,Vocals

Technical Credits

Rudolf Friml   Composer
George Gershwin   Composer
King Oliver   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Otto Harbach   Composer
Ray Henderson   Composer
Barry Martyn   Producer
George H. Buck   Liner Notes
DuBose Heyward   Composer
Mort Dixon   Composer
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